Cover photo for Mervin Carl Johnson's Obituary
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1936 Mervin 2022

Mervin Carl Johnson

November 25, 1936 — January 22, 2022

Mervin Carl Johnson

November 25, 1936 – January 22, 2022


“Well done, good and faithful servant… come and share in your Master’s happiness” (Matthew 25:21).

Mervin Carl Johnson, longtime resident of Meeker, passed away January 22, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado after a lengthy illness.  He was 85.

Merv was born in Montrose, Colorado on November 25, 1936 to Carl and Ernestine (Gardner) Johnson.  The first six years of his life were spent at Carl’s sawmill on the Uncompaghre Plateau near Norwood.  Merv attended elementary school in Montrose.  Due to his older brother Elvin’s health issues, the Johnson family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where Merv went to middle school.  After they returned to Colorado, he attended Montrose High School and served as senior class president.

During his junior year he met Ruth Madden.  Her quiet and committed faith had a profound impact on Merv and he accepted Christ at age 17, becoming actively involved in the Montrose Christian Church.  Merv and Ruth graduated high school in 1955 and were married that fall.  Within a year their first child, a daughter, was born; two sons came along within the next seven years.

At age 20 Merv felt called to full-time Christian ministry and enrolled at Intermountain Bible College in Grand Junction.  While in college he served as summer preacher for a small church in Riverton, Wyoming.  In 1960 Merv and Ruth were called to Delta, Colorado where they ministered at Delta Christian Church for five years.  In 1965 they accepted the minister position at First Christian Church in Craig, Colorado and served there until 1982.  While in Delta and Craig, Merv served continuously on the Board of Directors for Intermountain Bible College and was also actively involved in leadership at Camp Christian in New Castle.

In 1982 Merv and Ruth moved to Dillon, Montana to plant a church.  After three challenging but enjoyable years they returned to Colorado.  Merv accepted the preaching position at Meeker Christian Church in 1986.  Ruth worked at Meeker Drug and then Pioneers Hospital until her death in 1997.  In 1998 Merv participated in a 6-week mission trip to Uganda, Africa where he helped conduct training classes for hundreds of Christian workers in five different cities.  Although he officially retired in 2002, Merv continued to serve the Meeker community and surrounding locales.  He still preached regularly and officiated many weddings and funerals for generations of northwest Colorado families.

Merv was renowned for his sense of humor and storytelling.  His preaching style was simple and focused on practical application of biblical truth.  Rather than keep office hours, more often than not his pastoral counseling sessions were conducted in a garage while working on a car, or leaning on a fencepost at someone’s farm.

Merv had many other interests and hobbies.  Over nearly three decades he bred and trained several quarter horses.  While living in Craig he regularly served with the Moffat County Sherriff’s Posse, including parades and mounted search and rescue.  He was a talented carpenter, working as a private contractor in Meeker as well as designing and building a house in Montana.  He performed his own auto mechanic work and converted a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle into a flatbed “truck.”  As an amateur gunsmith Merv built several firearms.  An accomplished hunter of deer, elk, antelope, and one mountain lion, he found pleasure in serving as a hunting guide when possible.  He was active in various leadership roles with the Meeker Sportsmen’s Club and for many years coordinated the organization’s Sight-In Days before each hunting season.  In addition to being the group’s largest annual fundraisers, these events gave him the opportunity to meet thousands of hunters from around the nation and talk shop.

Merv’s teenage interest in art was rekindled in his middle-adult years, resulting in a number of oil paintings illustrating his interest in animals and the beauty of God’s creation.  His lifelong love of the outdoors found expression in camping and fishing excursions.  One of his favorite pastimes later in life was making regular trips to see and photograph wild horses in the Sand Wash Basin northwest of Maybell.

Merv Johnson was preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife of 41 years, Ruth; and his brother Elvin.  He is survived by 3 children: daughter Carlina Duggan of Northglenn, CO, son M.C. Johnson (wife Joan) of Stella, MO, and son Scott Johnson (wife Holly) of Colorado Springs, CO; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

The family is conducting a private graveside service and burial at Grand View Cemetery in Montrose.  A public memorial service will be planned for May 2022, with details to come.



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